“The more employees are watched, the harder they try to avoid being watched.”

The Era of the Employer-Surveillance State

#Workplace

Sat, Oct 20th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to this article on The Atlantic, surveilled employees don't actually work better: they either find ways around the surveillance—causing more surveillance to be placed upon them—or completely alter their behaviour to suit the machine causing a decrease in productivity, which was the opposite of the intended goal.

In general, studies of surveillance suggest that it can increase workplace stress, promote worker alienation, lower job satisfaction, and convey the perception that the quantity of work one generates is more important than its quality. In an analysis aptly titled “Watching Me Watching You,” the British anthropologists Michael Fischer and Sally Applin conclude that workplace surveillance creates “a culture where … people more often alter their behavior to suit machines and work with them, rather than the other way around,” and that this tends to erode their sense of “agency.” That is, the constant surveillance of employees diminishes their capacity to operate as independent thinkers and actors.

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